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A Lack of Awareness Has A Terrible Ending

March 06, 20216 min read

What Can You Do According to Florida Concealed Carry Laws?

What's Up Sheepdogs? Ryan here with Tampa Carry.

On August 6th, 2019,  Mathew Korattiyil pulled into the parking lot of Centerstate bank in Valrico FL. 

For years Matthew owned a small convenience store just a few miles up the road,  so making bank deposits was a normal part of his day. 

After Mathew parked his car, gathered his belongings and opened the door to his SUV. He was suddenly pushed back into his vehicle and into the passenger's seat. 

What Matthew didn’t realize is while he was gathering his deposit, James Hanson, was inside the Centerstate Bank committing an armed robbery and Matthews vehicle suddenly became the getaway vehicle. 

How is Matthew allowed to respond according to Florida Concealed Carry Laws? Let’s ask ourselves the big questions. 

The Big Questions

How Could This Situation Have Been Avoided? 

As I have mentioned time and time again. The secret to avoid situations like this is situational awareness. When Matthew pulled into the parking lot he probably did what most people do. He looked around his vehicle to gather his deposits, wallet and phone. 

Maybe if Matthew would have been more aware of his surroundings he would have seen the bank robber running out of the bank. 

These few seconds could have provided Matthew with a few different options. 

First, Matthew could have jumped into his vehicle and locked the doors. This could allow Matthew to drive away and avoid the situation. 

Second, as the bank robber was driving down the road Matthew could have opened his door and jumped out. I understand that jumping out of a moving vehicle would be extremely painful and dangerous, however I would rather take my chances jumping out of a moving vehicle then allowing a bank robber to bring me to a desolate area. Now, there was no way for Matthew to know that ultimately this bad guy was going to murder him, I mean, that kind of stuff doesn’t happen in the middle of the day in a small town, while you are doing what you’ve done at thousand times right? Matthew likely thought he could talk himself out of the situation. 

Does This Scenario Fall Under the Justifiable Use of Force statutes?

Florida’s Justifiable Use of Force statute is commonly referred to as the Stand Your Ground law. This is the Florida law that outlines the requirements for an individual to use or threaten the use of deadly force. Here’s what it says. 

Florida Statutes 776.012 (2) A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.

According to this statute before a person would have a legal right to use or threaten the use of deadly force the following questions must be answered. 

Are you or someone around you going to die within seconds?
Yes, the bank robber had just finished robbing a bank at gunpoint. I also think it’s safe to assume that he was still in possession of the firearm and was threatening Matthew with. 

Are you or someone around you going to become the victim of great bodily harm?
At this point I think anything is possible. 

Are you or someone around you going to become the victims of a Forcible Felony within seconds?
Yes, one of the forcible felonies is carjacking which is defined as; 

Carjacking F.S. 812.133(1) means the taking of a motor vehicle which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the motor vehicle, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.

I personally think this situation would also meet the requirements of a kidnapping. 

F.S. 787.01 (1)(a) means forcibly, secretly or by threat confining, abducting or imprisoning another person against her or his will and without lawful authority, with intent to: 1. Hold for ransom or reward or as a shield or hostage. 2. Commit or facilitate commission of any felony. 3. Inflict bodily harm upon or to terrorize the victim or another person. 4. Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.

Is the use of deadly force reasonable?
In my opinion I believe the use of deadly force would be a reasonable response. 

As I mentioned above the bank robber is clearly threatening Matthew with a firearm. Not to mention the fact that the robber has already committed a carjacking and kidnapping, both of which are situations where the use of deadly force would be a reasonable response. 

Is the use of deadly force necessary?
As I mentioned above if I was in this situation I would believe that the use of deadly force would be necessary to stay alive. 

Are you in a place that you have a right to be?
Yes, Matthew had a legal right to be at the bank. 

Are you engaged in a criminal activity?
No, Matthew was not commiting a crime. 

Where Is The Line In The Sand? 

As most of you know I believe that a safe and responsible concealed carry permit holder should avoid using a firearm unless it is absolutely necessary. 

If I was Matthew, as soon as I noticed the bank robber running out of the bank with a pistol in his hand I would have presented my firearm from concealment and locked my car doors. As soon as the bank robber raised his firearm towards me I would shoot. 

What Would You Do If? 

If you were in a situation just like this what would you do? Do you carry your firearm 100% of the time you are legally allowed to? When you pull into a parking lot are you aware of your surroundings or are you distracted? If you were to be car jacked would you jump out of the vehicle or would you allow the attacker to bring you to a desolate area? 

The Rest of the Story 

After the bank robbery and carjacking,  Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies spent several hours searching for Matthew and his vehicle. At 4:00 pm Matthew's body was discovered, he had been strangled to death and left behind the Sacred Heart Knanaya Catholic Community Center. 

This story is a perfect example of someone who never thought they would need a firearm until they needed a firearm. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late to get your Florida Concealed Weapons permit today by visiting www.TampaCarry.com

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That's all I have for today. So until next time keep training and stay safe...

Ryan G. Thomas

P.S. You’re one step away from getting your Florida concealed carry permit….FAST & EASY…

And for a limited time you can watch the concealed carry course online for free... Click here to get started...

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Ryan G. Thomas

Ryan believes a trained and aware citizen is the best way to minimize crime, victims and senseless acts of violence. Ryan is a veteran of the United States Air Force and a father of three beautiful children. Ryan and his wife Tiffany met while doing inner city ministry for Operation Explosion in Tampa 12 years ago. He is passionate about God, his family, and his community. Ryan has a passion for the 2nd amendment and believes all Americans should have the right and ability to protect themselves and their families.

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